Quick Answer: Is White Phosphorus A War Crime?

Is white phosphorus illegal in war?

Determining that it is illegal to use a certain weapon in armed conflict requires a positive showing of its treaty- or customary-based prohibition.

White phosphorus is often incorrectly labeled as an “incendiary weapon” or a “chemical weapon.” Under the LOAC, it is legally neither..

How does white phosphorus kill?

When a white phosphorus shell explodes, the chemical inside reacts with the air, creating a thick white cloud. When it comes in contact with flesh, it can maim and kill by burning to the bone.

Does Israel use white phosphorus?

Israel has insisted that its use of white phosphorus in the conflict was permitted under international law and that it sought to avoid unnecessary civilian deaths in Gaza. As a weapon, white phosphorus is used to mark enemy targets and to produce smoke for concealing troop movements.

How much does white phosphorus cost?

Reference price of White Phosphorus is 2400.785USD/MT, unchanged from 2020-12-07.

Is napalm banned?

Although the United Nations banned the use of napalm on civilian targets in 1980, numerous reports suggest its use in several modern conflicts. Homemade mixtures approximating napalm have exploded during manufacture or improvised use causing injuries outside of armed conflicts.

Is white phosphorus worse than napalm?

Napalm is the most notorious incendiary substance, but it is only one of more than 180. … White phosphorus munitions cause particularly severe injuries, including chemical burns down to the bone.

Is white phosphorus smoke toxic?

White phosphorus is used in the manufacture of munitions, pyrotechnics, explosives, smoke bombs, in artificial fertilizers, and rodenticides. White phosphorus is extremely toxic to humans, while other forms of phosphorus are much less toxic.

Is Black phosphorus dangerous?

Red phosphorus is not poisonous and is not as dangerous as white phosphorus, although frictional heating is enough to change it back to white phosphorus. … Black phosphorus is the least reactive form of phosphorus and has no significant commercial uses.

Does white phosphorus burn underwater?

White phosphorus is highly reactive, and spontaneously ignites at about 30°C in moist air. It is usually stored under water, to prevent exposure to the air. It is also extremely toxic, even in very small quantities.

Did the US use white phosphorus in Iraq?

The U.S. military has admitted using white phosphorus in the 2004 battle for Fallujah in Iraq, and in Afghanistan in 2009. Israel used it in the 2008 Gaza war, but said in 2013 that it would stop.

How long does white phosphorus last?

The first phase, the gastrointestinal phase, occurs a few minutes to 8 hours following white phosphorus exposure. Shock during this phase may be severe enough to cause death in 24 to 48 hours.

Is it a war crime to use white phosphorus?

While in general white phosphorus is an industrial chemical not subject to restriction, certain uses in weaponry are banned or restricted by general international laws: in particular, those related to incendiary devices.

Is white phosphorus considered a chemical weapon?

Because it has legal uses, white phosphorus is not banned as a chemical weapon under international conventions. … It is a colorless or yellowish translucent wax-like substance that smells a bit like garlic and ignites on contact with oxygen.

How hot is a white phosphorus grenade?

5,000 degrees FahrenheitThe WP filler burns for about 60 seconds at a temperature of 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This intense heat causes the smoke produced by the grenade to rise quite rapidly, especially in cool climates.

How does white phosphorus work?

When phosphorus ignites, it produces clouds of white phosphorus pentoxide, which can be thick enough to be opaque. … The substance is effective because the clouds of phosphorus pentoxide it produces react with moisture in the air, or in people’s lungs, to form phosphoric acid.